SNP LEADERSHIP contender Ash Regan has appealed for “calm” and an end to “mudslinging” in the contest.

The former community safety minister, who is due to officially launch her campaign on Friday, said it was important the party would be able to come back as a “stronger SNP” after the new leader was appointed.

She also warned that if people with different views were not listened to it was going to be a “difficult situation” and described her leadership rivals Kate Forbes and Humza Yousaf as “really valued colleagues”.

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Regan told STV News: “There is something I want to say about the stuff which has been going on over the last few days, I just want to put out a call for calm, I think that’s really important at the moment.

“Kate and Humza are really valued colleagues, a really important part of the SNP, so I think all the mudslinging that has been going on just now needs to stop.

“Everyone needs to take a breath, we have got to remember we are all going to be working together at the end of this, I want us all to come back together as a stronger SNP and we are all going to be working for the betterment of Scotland.”

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Earlier Regan told Sky News: “The mudslinging on this needs to stop and I am calling for calm.”

Asked who is at the centre of the mudslinging, she added: “I think we need to remember that Kate and Humza's religious views, we need to respect that, and if we can’t listen to people who have different views from our own, we are going to be getting into a bit of a difficult situation.”